Lou Smit


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Longtime police detective Lou Smit, who first investigated and then supported Jon Benet Ramsey's parents, has died, a hospice spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

Smit, 75, had cancer and died Wednesday at Pikes Peak Hospice in Colorado Springs. Hospice spokeswoman Robin Witten said he had a steady stream of visitors.

Smit's long career included years as an investigator for the Colorado Springs Police Department and the El Paso County sheriff's office, where he was captain of detectives. His dogged police work was credited with helping lock up more than 200 killers.

He became known nationally when he was coaxed out of retirement to help investigate the 1996 death of 6-year-old Jon Benet Ramsey, who was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parent's Boulder home Dec. 26, 1996. Smit later resigned because he believed authorities were wrongly focusing on the parents, John and Patsy Ramsey.

Smit said unidentified DNA under JonBenet's fingernails and on her underpants pointed to an intruder as the culprit, not her parents. He later worked for the Ramseys.

"The point is there is foreign DNA. There is common foreign DNA. It is not John. It is not Patsy. It is not (JonBenet's brother) Burke," Smit said in a 2001 interview. "So just to take this and say it's degraded and throw these beautiful clues away, you can't do it. You have to plug these clues into the intruder side of the story as well."

In 2008, former Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy publicly exonerated JonBenet's family in the girl's death.

Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in 2006 in Atlanta, where the family moved after JonBenet's death.

Smit helped solve other high-profile slayings in Colorado, including the 1975 rape and murder of Karen Elisa Grammer, the sister of actor Kelsey Grammer. Freddie Glenn was convicted in her abduction, rape and murder.

Smit was hired out of retirement in 1995 to help solve the slaying of 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church, who was abducted from her El Paso County home in 1991. Robert C. Browne pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case and was sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Even tho' Lou is in a better place, one that we all aspire to go, it is appropriate to celebrate the day Lou was born on earth. Happy Birthday, Lou! I miss you terribly but am blessed to have known you and am a better person because of our friendship.

May Lou's family feel God's presence and peace on his birthday today.

You will be missed.

EPSO (Ret)

I have the privilege of being a close friend of Lou since 1976. I talked with him each Christmas and charished his visits as he passed through Texas or when I came to Colorado. My heart goes out to his family now as when he lost his beautiful wife Barbara. I will miss him dearly. I know that he was a God loving man and now God is privileged to have him there. We will meet again my Friend. I love and miss you.
Lois Haney
Bowie Texas

Lou helped me with my first investigation case, although we were on opposite sides. He was someone who wanted to find the truth. It wasn't a matter of winning or losing. You don't find many people like that. Definitely one in a million. - Laurie Hampton, Joliet Illinois

I "We will never forget Lou Smit. your in Heaven..zeppy2815

We will never forget Lou Smit. He was a remarkable man. We will always hold our memories of him forever. Our Love and Prayers go out to his family. We miss you but we know your in Heaven and you are at peace.
Cheryl Paterson - Dr. Kennedy's

We will all remember Lou Smit. For his dedication to the victims and their families. There was never a more sincere person. My sympathy to the family, Lou will live on in you all. Love and Prayers

We will always remember Lou Smit!! For his dedication to the victims. There was never a more sincere person!! Sympathies to all his family. Lou will live on in you. - Ayrshire, Scotland